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You are here: Home / Conferences / Antwerp 2018 / Programme

The rules of the game

Modular scripts and generative design
When Thu 13 Sep 1450
Where Arenberg Theater
Who Maurice Meilleur
My presentation explores the design principles of modular scripts and their relevance to contemporary parametric and generative design projects. Using specimen images, diagrams, Python code, and animations, I reconstruct and illustrate the design spaces and logic behind scripts created by Josef Albers, André Gürtler, Wim Crouwel, and Jurriaan Schrofer. These examples demonstrate, sometimes in ways even their designers didn’t fully appreciate, how generative design reveals new formal relationships between letters and suggests new ways for scripts to represent and convey meaning. They also show how important imagination, playfulness, and judgment are in the design of even the most rigorous formal systems. Modular scripts are among the most popular, but in some ways the least understood, legacies of modernist typography. The structures of their letterforms, and the processes by which they’re generated, express themselves independently of the writing systems, technologies, cultural contexts, and applications that scripts conventionally represent. Making sense of them relies less on memory and experience, and more on discovery and extension. Put another way, a modular script plays a formal game, and invites us to learn and apply its rules.

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